[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 92: “My sleeves are like tides, but the people who live in the rocks off the coast don’t know about them.” (Nijoin Sanuki)

No. 92: “My sleeves are like tides, but the people who live in the rocks off the coast don’t know how long it will take.” (Nijoin Sanuki)

Kunio Tsukamoto, who is known as a giant of modern tanka, wrote a book called ``New Selection of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.'' Therefore, he declared that the Hyakunin Isshu poems selected by Teika were ``an ordinary 100 poems'' and re-selected the ``true 100 poems''. I enjoyed his crisp criticism to some extent, but I was fed up with his words that forgot my admiration for ancient poets, and to be honest, I didn't have a good feeling after reading the book.

Among them, the only song that Tsukamoto Gotai praised was a song by Nijoin Sanuki.
The atmosphere that pervades the book as a whole is fully conveyed through the top-down reviews, such as ``an exception among the 100 mediocre poems'' and ``one of the few masterpieces among the 100 poems.'' Sho.
However, although this song was highly praised by a great master, I actually don't really get it.

``My sleeves are like stones off the coast that can't be seen even when the tide is low; people probably don't know that, but they're soaked with tears and have no time to dry.''

The title of the song is ``Love Close to Stone,'' which is included in the Senzashu collection. Aside from the fact that the title is a little strange, it's easy to see that it's faithful to the title. However, this was the original song.

``My sleeves are like a stone beneath the water, and it doesn't take long for people to know about them.'' (Izumi Shikibu)

What do you think? If you know, aren't most of them minor changes to the original song? The first song that compared secret tears to the ``stone in the water'' that never dries out should be praised, but adding only ``shiohi'' and taking credit for it is something that cannot be praised at all. Probably.

However, Nijoin Sanuki is said to have earned the nickname ``Sanuki of Okinoishi'' because of this song. In other words, not only Tsukamoto but other poets of the time praised it, so perhaps I should question my appreciation for this song...

Still, the reason why I don't like this song and feel deeply unhappy is because it is the end of the continuous history of waka poetry. This is because this is the end of a court poet who continued to compose songs through a struggle, at a time when he was bound by the ``title'' and ``honka'' and could no longer compose freely and was not appreciated.
Nijoin Sanuki's poem vividly conveys the sadness of history in which the nobility could only continue to exist by becoming more aristocratic.

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

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季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて版販売中)

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